My Dear Parishioners,
This Monday we celebrate our Independence as a nation. It is a good time to thank God for the freedoms and blessings we enjoy as citizens of this great country. Happy Fourth of July! We have a tendency to think that freedom means we can do whatever we want, but freedom means much more than that. Freedom first of all presupposes free will and this is a gift from God. With this gift comes great responsibility. As human beings blessed by God with free will we are to respond to His great love by loving Him and others. It is truly an honor and a privilege that God wants us to freely choose Him. Of course the fact that we are free does not guarantee that we will make the right choice, only that we can choose. As we celebrate all the wonderful freedoms that this country affords us, we recognize that our greatest freedom and most important one is to choose for God. I hope you enjoy celebrating this holiday with family and friends and remember it is appropriate and fitting to honor God first. Our Mass on Monday, July 4th is at 8:00 a.m. Please note there will be no exposition or evening rosary this Monday.
In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, the Archbishop has asked that the following statement be communicated to all the parishes.
May God Bless you,
I am grateful to the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States for their willingness to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and for their opinion, which affirms the deep value inherent to every human life.
As Catholics, we believe that life is God’s most precious gift and that we share a responsibility to uphold its beauty and sanctity from conception to natural death. In addition to being strong advocates for the unborn, this responsibility extends to caring for the hungry, the poor, the sick, the immigrant, the elderly, the oppressed, and any of our brothers and sisters who are marginalized. In short, to be truly pro-life means to recognize the presence of God in everyone and to care for them accordingly.
The Church’s strong commitment to protecting and preserving human life is a holistic one. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is one of the largest private providers of social services in the region. Our ministries and programs provide a continuum of care to those in need regardless of their faith tradition.
Our charitable programs provide formula, diapers, education, and comprehensive support services to pregnant women, fathers, new parents, and single parents. We have distributed more than a million meals in the greater Philadelphia region to those struggling with food insecurity. We shelter the homeless, support veterans, those in recovery, and help students with special needs receive the Catholic education they deserve. We have helped desperate families get back on their feet and bring joy to the lives of the aged and lonely.
I have often said that we are a people of hope. It is my personal hope that we can all live and work peacefully, side-by-side, to create a true culture of life in our Nation. May God bless you.
Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia